STAT: Establishing a Framework for Understanding

To be STAT certified faculty also need to encourage students to make connections to their own thinking (metacognition) and to other classes they are taking (just plain good for student satisfaction and job preparedness). Below are sample questions for metacognition (from Reis) that can be delivered in the same manner as Conceptual Reflection questions:

What have I accomplished? 

What have I learned?

With what do I need help? 

What did I do to help myself? 

What skills or strengths do I have? 

How did I improve?

What did I do well? 

What am I confused about? 

What difference did my contribution/work make? 

How did I make a difference? 

Why should I do this? 

How is what I did important? 

What were my expectations? 

What surprised me? 

Was I effective? 

How did my understanding changes?

In addition, however, some reflective questions should relate to elements of your course and how they relate to the outside world, as well as to other courses in the program. (NOTE: for STAT certification at the level of curricular programs, there not only needs to be a set number of certified courses, but also a capstone that is focused on putting themes together and explaining why they did what they did here at SEBS.)

An Example Practice: Exam Wrappers

Adapted from Lovett,2013, Make Exams Worth More Than the Grade, Ch. 2 in Using Reflection and Metacognition to Improve Student Learning, Kaplan et al., eds, Stylus.

Exam wrappers are short activities that direct students to review their performance (and the instructor's feedback) on an exam with an eye toward adapting their future learning. Exam wrappers ask students three kinds of questions: How did they prepare for the exam? What kind of errors did they make on the exam? What could they do differently next time? Each of the question types is discussed next.

Basic recipe for exam wrappers:

Step1: Students prepare for and take the exam using their typical study strategies. No special intervention is need for this first exam.

Step 2: Give students the exam wrapper instrument when the graded exams are returned and ask students to complete it as soon as possible upon seeing their exam performance. Ideally, this is done right then in class and need only take 10 minutes of class time. Students couold instead complete the exam wrapper as homework or complete them online.

Step 3: Collect the exam wrappers and evaluate responses

Step 4: At the time when students should begin studying for the next exam, return the exam wrappers from the previous exam. The idea here is that students review their own recommendations for how to study more effectively, given their own past experiences, strengths, and weaknesses. There are variations on this step you can use, such as adding follow-up questions.

Step 5 (optional, but desirable): Repeat steps 2 through 4 for subsequent exams.


  1. Rutgers
  2. New Brunswick
Program in Science Learning